Quarter life crisis? Here’s how to snap out of it.
Feeling confused about where you should be in your career? No idea where your life is going? Overwhelmed by decisions on whether to save to buy a house, start a family or see the world?
Welcome to your quarter life crisis!
A quarter life crisis is the feeling of “anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life”, which, you guessed it, usually starts in your mid-20s.
And it’s more common than you might think.
In fact, a LinkedIn study in 2017 found that 3 out of 4 people aged 25 to 33 had experienced a quarter life crisis.
In other words, it’s not a question of if you’ll experience a quarter life crisis, it’s a matter of when.
Are you having a quarter life crisis right now?
Here are 7 signs to look out for:
- You’re feeling disappointed your career isn’t what you expected it to be, or even whether it’s what you actually want
- You have no clue what you really want out of your future
- You’re terrified that your best years may be behind you, you haven’t done anything with your life and you’re running out of time to get it right
- It seems like everyone else has it all figured out, and you’re falling behind
- You have decision-overload about everything – your career, whether you should start a family, whether to buy or rent …everything
- You can’t help but envy what others have and where they are in their life
- You find yourself constantly wondering, “what am I doing with my life?!”
If you’re experiencing these types of thoughts and feelings, chances are you’re having a good ‘ol quarter life crisis.
How to tackle your quarter life crisis head-on
That’s a lot of pressure you’re putting on yourself. Feelings like these can quickly overwhelm you and spiral out of control. Take a minute to pause and appreciate the life experiences you’ve gained so far. Regardless of what you do next, nothing you’ve done has been a waste.
Ask yourself some hard-hitting questions
Get ready to be uncomfortable. It’s time to ask yourself some deep questions to find out what really matters to you. Only when you have clarity on that can you make confident decisions on what direction you want to take.
The first and most important question to ask yourself is this:
Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I shake this feeling? Why is it affecting me so much?
Be brave and brutally honest with yourself about any reasons behind the way you currently think and feel. Get to the bottom of where your insecurities or hang-ups are coming from. This will allow you to focus on where to make meaningful change.
Avoid the comparison trap
Everyone else has it figured out, don’t they? It might seem like every second day, one of your friends is getting engaged, another reveals they just bought their first house or scored a promotion in their dream job.
Even if you’re genuinely happy for them, the ‘comparison trap‘ can hit overdrive. Remember that LinkedIn survey? Nearly half of those surveyed cited the anxiety they feel when they compare themselves to their more successful friends, with women (51%) suffering from this more than men (41%).
It’s human to compare ourselves with others. But the key is to remember that people often don’t reveal the struggles they may have overcome to reach those milestones. Instead of comparing yourself to others, spend time figuring out what YOU want. No-one can live your life but you!
Lean on your tribe
You’re not alone! Reach out to your friends and family and tell them how you’re feeling. Not only will you relieve some of the stress that’s been building up, you’re likely to discover they’ve been through a similar thing and have some words of wisdom to share.
Zone in on your personal goals
What makes you happy? What excites you? Get clear about where you want to be and set goals towards your own success. Think of this as a roadmap – break down your big goals into smaller, achievable short-term goals. Smaller goals might include gaining a certificate in a new skill or opening a savings account dedicated to a home deposit.
It might take years to get to where you want to be, but if you achieve smaller goals along the way, you can shake off the feeling of being directionless.
Be kind to yourself
Do your best to take care of yourself during this time. Take up mindfulness and meditation, get some exercise, spend time with your tribe, and get good quality sleep – all these things can help you manage anxiety and stress. If you find that your anxiety is overwhelming and preventing you from living your life, talk to your GP or contact a free support service, such as Beyond Blue.
Tell yourself it’s normal
Quarter life crises happen to the best of us – you’re going through a totally necessary stage of life. You can bet that the people who are living their best life went through a quarter life crisis, because that is how you find out who you are and what’s important to you.
Want to conquer your quarter life crisis? Download Hodie to discover your superpowers, build your self-awareness, find direction and get on track!